The most essential tracks of the last week handpicked by the Nialler9 team. Subscribe to the weekly Spotify playlist (1.3k subscribers) or the daily playlist (4.9k subscribers).


1.

Paul White – Returning

London – based pysch-hop producer Paul White has returned with his new album Rejuvenate . ‘Returning’, a track from the album, is an evolving piece of music. Beginning with loops of organic instrumentation, mostly guitars, the track adds layer upon layer until it becomes a swirling electronic opus. Having already done production duties for artists like Danny Brown, Charlie XCX and Open Mike Eagle, Paul White is a producer and composer well worth your attention.


2.

Kelsey Lu – Shades Of Blue’

Following her debut long form release in 2016, North Carolinian artist Kelsey Lu has been steadily amassing a following of smitten fans. On her new single’Shades of Blue’, Lu has created a dreamy tune, chamber pop stripped to its bare essentials. Full of anguish and heartbreak, Lu’s vocal and lyrical performance is perfectly complimented by the earthy quality of the accompanying instrumentation. Lu was my new Artist of the Week in the Times.


3.

Trevor Powers – Playwright

Former Youth Lagoon front man Trevor Powers has released a debut song by the artist under his own name. ‘Playwright’ is an excellent art pop song with nods to the Japanese music tradition. Accompanying the track is a stunning music video starring aquatic ballet group Aqualillies . Having just founded his own label Baby Halo, it’s safe to say we can expect to hear more from Powers in the very near future.


4.

Mary Lattimore – Hello From The Edge Of The Earth

Renowned harpist Marry Lattimore unveiled her new track ‘Hello From The Edge Of The Earth’ this week. Having built her reputation on the dozens of appearances she’s made on various bands’ records, this solo enterprise is both beautiful and haunting. The sparse ambient electronic accompaniment Lattimore gives to the harp seem to further highlight the already pensive nature of the instrument. Lattimore’s new album Hundreds of Days is out May 18th on Ghostly International Ghostly Records.


5.

Oneohtrix Point Never – Black Snow

Having earned a ton of attention and praise for his work on the Good Time movie soundtrack, Oneohtrix Point Never continues to push the envelope on just what electronic music iscan bewith his new single ‘Black Snow’. A sometimes strange mix of trap, dance and electric folk a la Bon Iver, ‘Black Snow’ is at once captivating and unnerving. One of the most experimental tracks you’ll hear all week. What else would you expect from an artist signed to Warp Records?


6.

Post Malone – Rich & Sad

Born in New York, Post Malone first found success first as an emerging talent during the original SoundCloud rapper boom. His sophomore album Beerbongs & Bentleys, released this month, has been blowing up, charting some of the best commercial numbers of any album so far this year. It’s very hit and miss, but ‘Rich & Sad’ is a great example of why he’s so popular. A pop song with lots of borrowed trap elements, ‘Rich & Sad’ is both cleverly written and excellently produced.


Posted on May 4th, 2018

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Body&Soul has added more acts to the festival in Ballinlough Castle, Co. Westmeath from June 23 – 25th.

Additions include:

RÜFÜS – Australian dance outfit
Kelsey Lu – Brilliant cellist
Brooke Bentham – Newcastle indie-rock
Lyra – Cork electro-pop
Ships – Dublin synth-pop duo
I Have A Tribe – piano-folk pop

Pagoda Stage:

Ryan Vail – electronic contemporary composer
Auxiliary Phoenix Trio – Jazz and hip hop fusion
Dowth – synth drones and samples
PrYmary Colours – electronic pop
Wastefellow – electronic experimentalism

Reckless in Love:

On Friday – irregular ‘pop-up party’ Alice will feature Byron Yeates and his rotation of residents, oscillating between hardware-heavy analog sets, dreamy house tracks, balearic beat downs and experimental electronics from Automatic Tasty, Breen, Cáit and Eoin Ryan.

Saturday – festival favourites Homebeat curate a night of choice selectors and contemporary beat-makers from across the country. Kicking off with left-field gems from the Homebeat DJs there’ll be sets from Lumo Club, DIP DJs, Major Problems DJs, Neil Flynn (Lossless), Bantum, ELLL and John Daly.

Sunday – Berlin-based label maeve will unleash a surprise line-up that is primed to bring the festival to a spectacular close.

The 2017 Art Trail

Dublin-based collective Algorithm have created an otherworldly portal in the form of their Space Mandala; a vortex that undulates with colour and wills the viewer to relinquish their sense of self and dive headfirst into a shifting and uncertain future. Fusing architecture, engineering and art, Rae Moore has created the Funicular Folly, an explorable terrain that uses light brickwork to create an alternative tent structure that’s begging to be climbed. As festival-goers make their way around the grounds they’ll be greeted by surprising, twinkling, provocative and inspiring pieces from artists such as Felix Power, Jane Groves, Jason Kearney and our resident land artist Christy Collard to name but a few.

Line up: Metronomy / Vitalic / Lambchop / Sleaford Mods / Mykki Blanco / Austra / Optimo20 / La Femme / Sinkane / Birdy Nam Nam / RÜFÜS / Hundred Waters / The Moonlandingz / Songhoy Blues / Tiggs Da Author / Anna Meredith / Formation / A Tribe Called Red / Kelsey Lu / Idiotape / Mammút / King Kong Company / Parcels / Brooke Bentham / Mario Batkovic / Elaine Mai / DBFC / Ailbhe Reddy / TooFools / Weval / Avalon Emerson / Mr TC / Æ Mak / The Bug ft. Miss Red / Loah / Kelly-Anne Byrne / Shookrah / Sing Along Social / Ships / Ollie Bell / Le Boom / Lyra / Jinx Lennon / Barq / Katie Laffan / Joni / I Have a Tribe / John Conneely Inc.


Posted on April 20th, 2017

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Now we’ve kicked 2016 to the curb, it’s time to look forward.

January is all about freshness, so here are 20 acts from around the globe who I reckon you’ll be hearing much more of this year. Some will be familiar to you but I expect to make an even bigger splash and some, I bet are likely to be appreciated by a lot more people by the year’s end. That was the criteria. I avoided any of the obvious ones you’ve seen elsewhere especially the BBC Sound of 2017 poll.

There are also extended playlists featuring the pick of those acts and more (JFDR, Jorja Smith, Declan McKenna, Louis Berry, ABRA, Jamilia Woods, Maggie Rogers, Pumarosa among them) on Soundcloud and Spotify.

Last year’s list.


1.

Hare Squead

Dublin R&B pop trio to hit it big this year.

A regular feature on Nialler9, Hare Squead spent the year building their fanbase in the UK by supporting Dua Lipa and dropping a series of singles and an EP on Columbia Records that suggested that Tony Konstone, E-Knock and singer Jessy Rose’s blend of soul, R&B, rap and pop could cross the Atlantic this year if all goes well.


2.

Skott

Scandinavian bright light of pop.


Four songs deep and Scandinavian artist Skott (who apparently “grew up in a remote small town forest commune run by ‘outcast’ folk musicians”) has already received some worthy plaudits – Annie Mac’s Hottest Record In The World, approval from Lorde, plays on Zane Lowe’s Beats show and topping the Hype Machine’s most blogged chart (and featured in their end of year list)

Her songs so far are bright pop nuggets from the sweet melody of ‘Porcelain’ to orchestral finger-clicking ballad ‘Wolf’ and the whistle-assisted electronic pop of ‘Lack Of Emotion’.

https://soundcloud.com/skottpeace/sets/skott


3.

Jens Kuross

Brittle piano balladry with emotive results.

Idaho-born musician Jens Kuross studied Jazz at Berklee college in Boston but last year begun releasing music under his own name on the London-based Aesop label. Now based in LA, Kuross’ six tracks last year were songs of emotion, depth, minimalism and confident songwriting, taking on a singing style that gets more affecting as it opens up, with touches of Radiohead and minimalist songwriters.


4.

Ardyn

UK siblings reaching out with new pop tones.

Cotswold brother and sister Rob and Katy Pearson AKA Ardyn appeared with the smart indie pop song ‘Over The River’, a song close to London Grammar in mood. An EP followed, The Valley, which featured production by James Ford (Simian Mobile Disco, Arctic Monkeys). More of the EP’s arched celestial pop overtones would be welcome in 2017. If you’re in London next week, they play The Line Of Best Fit’s Five Day Forecast.


5.

Ailbhe Reddy

Dublin singer-songwriter has reached far in a short time.


For a new artist, having your second EP racking up over 1 million streams in your first year is quite an achievement. But Ailbhe Reddy has found fans wherever she has gone – whether its at festivals like Electric Picnic, Other Voices and Body & Soul among them. As she has grown in consciousness, so too has her craft and her live set finds her flanked by a full-band adding depth to already substantial songs. You may have heard her song ‘Seasonal’ in the RTÉ show Striking Out – courtesy of myself and Avant Music Port too.

2017 sees Ailbhe step it up into the wider world, starting with a new single ‘Relent’ and two gigs – The Servant Jazz Quarters in London on 15th February and The Sugar Club in Dublin on 22nd February.

Hear her new song below which Ailbhe says:

‘Relent’ is about looking back on a soured relationship & realising how it could have been, seeing the lessons and my own shortcomings as part of the story. It’s about the guilt that forms part of the natural retrospection on a once loving relationship. Too often these songs can be purely accusatory, whereas I’ve tried to explore the reality that there are two sides to every story and each party has their own narrative as they see it. The inspiration was these feelings and the song was written as an attempt to express this and move forward from it. To sweeten what has soured and move on without guilt”


6.

Her

French R&B duo.

Two French men make up the duo Her, making sensually suggestive R&B pop songs with electronic undertones – reminscent of Rhye with more body (ahem). They’ve had a few memorable songs already in the form of ‘Quite Like’, ‘Five Minutes’ and their most recent single ‘Queens’ featuring Zefire. They’re now signed to Island Records and kick off their year at Eurosonic next week. A debut album is forthcoming.


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Posted on January 5th, 2017

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Kelsey Lu is a North Carolinian cellist and singer/songwriter who has just released an EP (Church) of orchestrally-arranged ambient folk music on True Panther.

Comparisons to Alice Coltrane and Bat For Lashes, Lu’s music leans into the avant-garde spectrum yet she has collaborated with artists in the field of pop and R&B like Blood Orange, Kelela and Wet.

Church was recorded in one take at the Holy Family Roman Catholic Church in Greenpoint, Brooklyn with Kelsey singing, playing cello and utilising a loop pedal.

‘Dreams’, from the EP is a highlight from the EP and a spectacular intro to Kelsey Lu. The Alix Brown-directed desert video heightens the song’s unique daydream quality and marks Lu out as a visual artist too.

Posted on July 19th, 2016

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